Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Monday, January 22, 2018

Salmon in Coconut Curry ~ A Recipe


A few months ago I finally decided to do what I wanted to do for about a year. Which was make curry from scratch. After browsing many recipes I had an idea what I wanted to do. Except it meant coming up with something by borrowing from a few of those recipes. So here it is, my recipe for Salmon in Coconut Curry. I am not a professional so it is what it is. Those are fresh curry leaves I found locally and definitely worth getting if you decide to cook curry. This serves two to three people, depending on how much you want to eat.

Ingredients
    1 to 2 tbs canola or other unsaturated oil, enough to cook onion
    1/4th sweet onion, finely chopped
    3 garlic cloves, crushed
    2 tsp fresh root ginger, finely grated (can substitute ground if needed)
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1 1/2 tsp garam masala or curry powder (to taste so can use less or more)
    8 curry leaves
    1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar, cane sugar or light brown sugar
    1 can low fat coconut milk (the can I used was 13.5 oz/400 ml, so something around that size)
    1 lime, juice and a bit of the zest
    2 to 4 pieces of salmon, around 6 oz or a little larger. Small enough to cook in 5-6 minutes
    fresh corriander or thai basil as garnish (optional)
    freshly steamed rice, to serve (optional)



Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a low heat. Add the onions and fry for 15 minutes, or until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic, ginger, ground coriander, garam masala or curry powder and curry leaves.


Cook everything for one minute. The smell will be really nice.


Add the sugar, coconut milk, lime juice, zest and cook for 10–15 minutes, or until slightly reduced.


Add the salmon and gently poach covered for 5–6 minutes or until done.


Plate the salmon and carefully pour the curry sauce through a strainer to remove the leaves, onion and zest.


You can also add rice to your plate at this point and spoon the curry sauce onto the place. Sprinkle with garnish if you wish.

Since I am not a professional chef or recipe writer, this is just something I put together. I thought I would share it since it is January 22nd here, which is Curry Day in Japan. I've cooked this a couple of times and it turned out well. If you are not use to curry or have sensitive digestion I would suggest reducing the onion, garlic, spices and number of curry leaves. And of course if you want it hotter, add more curry powder.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Oh Crepes

Last week I got the urge to make crepes. It had been a few years since I made them so I wasn't sure how they would turn out. Thankfully they looked fine and the taste was great. Just to note, I used soy milk. I would suggest not using low or non-fat soy milk if doing this.

So what to do with these crepes? My first thought was salmon with lemon along with spinach cooked in butter with lemon. I kind of used this recipe here, but kind of didn't 
http://www.foodrepublic.com/recipes/salmon-and-spinach-filled-crepes/. I left out the tomatoes, cheese and garlic because I wanted to have the salmon and lemon stand out.

And I made a white wine sauce which is a simple white sauce with white wine added in. I use to make this to go with turkey filled crepes. I also used soy milk for this and topped the crepe with a little green onion since I did not have chives. Capers would be good too.

The thought of that sauce with poultry led to my next dish using the crepes. I made a rosemary chicken with crimini mushrooms cooked in butter with a little onion.

This time I put a few fresh parsley leaves on top. Similar to the turkey dish I made in the past. This was so good.

My imagination was in full swing. Chicken crepes with an orange sauce maybe?

I had orange syrup from making candied oranges so I added in some acid in the form of red wine vinegar plus minced onion, orange peel and orange slices. This is a variation on a classic orange sauce like the one in this recipe http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/duck-a-lorange-102145. I left out the butter and broth because I wanted to reduce the amount of fat in the dish.

Put chicken in a crepe, add the orange sauce and cooked slice and it was like a Chinese orange flavored chicken dish. Very sweet and good.

I had one more crepe. Deciding I wanted to go with vegetables I made a veloute sauce with butter, flour, low salt vegetable stock, mushrooms and a little minced onion. I used the recipe here http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/how-to-make-classic-sauces-vegan/ 

Into the crepe went vegetables sauteed in olive oil with a little garlic and onion. I was trying hard not to cook Italian style vegetables so limited the garlic and put in corn, carrots and peas.

Dressed with the veloute sauce and parsley blossoms this turned out very well. The corn added a bit of sweetness that bumped the flavor up.

What I enjoyed about this, besides the food, was the ability to use my imagination. Something to remember is to consider adding a little acid like wine, fruit juice or a nice vinegar to push the flavor up and balance the dish. Especially with orange sauce it helps reduce bitterness.

So what else can I make with crepes?

Well I whipped up chilled coconut milk,

tossed some local strawberries in cane sugar,

and cooked up a batch of dessert crepes.

The end result.

I could have put whipped coconut on top, more strawberries but I really wanted to eat. So delicious!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Okonomiyaki from Hiroshima

I've watched a professional make Hiroshima okonomiyaki. I've made Hiroshima okonomiyaki. Saw this in the Tau Hiroshima shop so thought I would try it. 

Clever replacing baseball bats with spatulas. 

I will say this is not for first timers unless you can read Japanese or find decent websites with steps and videos that can help because making Hiroshima okonomiyaki is not a simple process. 

Inside the box were ingredients to make two okonomiyaki. And a sticker. Go Carp!

Along with two of the crepes/pancakes. 

Fixings for one okonomiyaki. Besides this an egg, cabbage, green onion, bean sprouts and oil are needed along with suggested pork or other main ingredient. It's okay to be creative with that part. Seafood is acceptable. 

This time I had bean sprouts. Not easy to find around here. I don't know why. When I enjoyed Hiroshima okonomiyaki in Tokyo bean sprouts were part of the dish. On top of this were some of the fixings from the package. I think it's katsubushi and maybe something else.

I used my large griddle for this. Really helps. Cooking the yakisoba noodles and the tempura toppings have been placed. 

Normally one would cook pork and put the cabbage and all on top of that. But I've tried that and personally I found it a bit too fatty. I know, I am a heretic. I've never been one to just step in line so my choice is surimi. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Sauce from the packet on the yakisoba along with that circular "crepe" on everything else. I did like that the noodles were pre-cooked. 

This is where it gets messy. Crepe and everything on top of the noodles. Meanwhile an egg fries. 

I did say messy. I will spare a look at it on my plate. 

Another day, another attempt. This time less cabbage and bean sprouts.  

Toppings in place and noodles cooking. I did add a bit of shredded konbu (seaweed) this time. It's not included in this kit but is something used in Hiroshima okonomiyaki. I don't know if there is some in the little packet with the katsubushi. I missed the flavor of it which is why I added it.

Hey it's not bad this way. 

The big flip. Crepe, veggies, noodles all on top of that egg. Definitely need two spatulas for this. 

One more flip in hopes of getting some color on that crepe. 

And onto a plate. Still needs the aonori seaweed on top. I will say the kit makes it a little easier to make but the crepe did not match up to what I've eaten before. Very flat and no flavor. The rest of it was good. I will stick with making these from scratch for now. Still it was a fun item to try out.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Calbee Chip Crunch Time

 So one of the fun things I did while in Japan was eating different limited Calbee potato chips. Calbee is known for creating all kinds of variations. I thought I would only find a couple varieties at the local konbini. Little did I know... So one of the first kinds I saw was this Mentaiko Pizza, 明太子ピザ. That's right, cod roe pizza chips.


I wasn't sure what to expect. Though might be really salty. Well no large chunks of mentaiko on the chips. These weren't too bad and were not too salty. Can't say I would have bought more though.

So if I could try those why not also attempt the pepperoni pizza chips.

Bigger bits of cheese on this. Definitely had a pepperoni pizza flavor. Which was a little overwhelming for their light chips.

Also with the pizza chips I'm guessing you could get pizza chip socks, ties and underwear. And who hasn't wanted to curl up in a pizza chip pillow?

Not sure if this guy is suppose to be Italian or a blond version of John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever.

Timing for this chicken wings was pretty funny. A friend online was asking why did she buy frozen buffalo wings (chicken wings). Seems they were pretty bad.

Calbee's take on chicken wings fared better.

This was an odd combination. Cheese and Edamame. 

I couldn't taste much edamame flavor. Mostly what was like a white mild cheddar. 

Something different. Calbee Takumi Ebisen from the Tau Hiroshima store.

Each chip individually packaged. Definitely an omiyage gift thing.

How they appear inside. Something special for shrimp chip lovers.

I knew I might regret this purchase. Because it was mega garlic. You have to really love garlic to enjoy these. Garlic to the point of being spicy hot. Good thing I wasn't going anywhere after these.

And my favorite. Not sure what all is on these but I know there is anchovies and garlic. Much more subdued than the mega garlic chips. Really good and I wish stores outside of Japan carried these.

I've said before I rarely eat potato chips but Calbee is the exception. Usually I try a bag or two while in Japan but this time I seemed to luck out with the different flavors. Right after this they announced they had to cut back on some of their different chips. So it was fun to try some while they were available.